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The combination of disc brakes and full mudguards on my tourer means I'll need to space the left lowrider rack at least 30mm from the fork. On the right I'll only need 5--10mm. Should I space them equally from the point of view of handling?

The panniers for the first trip will be fairly lightly loaded and will be different: one will be my Altura Morph that converts into a backpack because I'll need a backpack when I arrive; the other will be a slightly fatter roll-top.

I've already got the rack, having used it on my hybrid. With a single front pannier the handling was awful at low speeds (but I also had a child on the back) so I'm wary about getting it wrong for a longer ride.

  • Since you have no sunk costs, just fit the rack and see how it goes. If a short loaded test ride around the block works out OK then it it probably will be, but for peace of mind carry some extra bolts and spacers (and tools!) on your first longer trip. – Criggie Mar 24 '18 at 21:43
  • @Criggie, yes, I'll definitely need a fully loaded test ride. I did a test fit today but didn't have the right bolts to actually ride it. I think you're right about the spares too -- I'm a bit of a pack rat at the best of times but don't normally have spare nuts&bolts – Chris H Mar 24 '18 at 21:54
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    Unrelated, but bottle cage bolts and cleat bolts are excellent sources for emergency bolts. They are the same threadding. – Criggie Mar 24 '18 at 22:54
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No, use the minimal amount of spacer possible. Having to space them out at all is a necessary evil and introduces risk of the bolts loosening or getting bent/broken. That risk far outweighs any upside of making them symmetrical, because spaced out rack bolts having issues like that is a real thing that happens. You probably won't be able to notice any handling differences from this much spacer regardless, but if you did you could negate it by packing slightly less weight in the more leveraged side.

  • I can always go back and add some if I need to, so this seems like the right place to start. I'm planning on quite light front panniers anyway and will use the slimmer one on the side with more spacers even if the weight turns out the same – Chris H Mar 26 '18 at 5:52

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